While JobsOhio is up and running, its funding stream from Ohio's liquor enterprise has not yet to begun to flow. The private, nonprofit entity has agreed to pay $1.4 billion upfront to the state of Ohio for a 25-year lease of the liquor enterprise, covering those costs through bonds, plus a potential share of future profits. The long-term lease of the state’s liquor operations will provide a dedicated funding source of approximately a $100 million dollars per year for JobsOhio, The Columbus Dispatch reported. Those funds will be used to cover administrative costs, to maintain a contract with the Department of Commerce to continue performing most of its regulatory liquor control and enforcement functions on behalf of JobsOhio, and to develop new programs to complement existing state programs (grants, loans and funds to train workers).
Governor Kasich and JobsOhio announced the parameters of the liquor enterprise lease agreement in January, with the expectation that the deal be completed sometime in the first quarter. However, a court challenge of the constitutionality of the organization’s relationship to the state is still pending and extending the timeline for execution of the transaction. The lawsuit, filed by State Senator Michael Skindell, State Representative Dennis Murray and ProgressOhio, was most recently dismissed on December 2, 2011, by Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Judge Laurel Beatty, who ruled that the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring the action. That issue is now before the Franklin County Court of Appeals, and a ruling is expected sometime this year.
In the interim, with a $1 million allocation from lawmakers to cover startup costs and private donations, JobsOhio established an office in downtown Columbus and has hired approximately 25 employees to meet its job creation and retention mandates, the article said. For more, read the full article.